Plans for Prince Philip’s death, otherwise known as Operation Forth Bridge, will likely happen differently amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is a day of mourning for all of Britain as the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, passed away, a few months short of his 100th birthday. While the news may come as a shock, plans are already underway for the late royal.
According to some sources, the 99-year-old was heavily involved in his funeral plans since experiencing health scares in the past. However, a plan known as Operation Forth Bridge was already designed years ago for this situation.
Following his death, the Lord of Chamberlain is supposed to inform the Prime Minister of the news. BBC is supposedly the first news outlet to be told about a royal’s death before other media sources.
The public report will likely come out at 8 am GMT if a senior royal expires overnight. It is rare that royals release “death bed” announcements and instead share the news at the Queen’s approval.
However, there have been instances of forewarned palace statements, including King George V and Queen Victoria’s death. Following the demise, newsreaders should wear black as part of the nation’s mourning.
PERIOD OF MOURNING
As part of the protocol, all flags are lowered at half-mast, and public events are often canceled and rescheduled. Flower-laying areas in tribute to the deceased are also assigned for the citizens.
The royal palace released a statement through Twitter earlier, revealing the news.
Queen Elizabeth will also enter a period of mourning, pausing her duties for eight days. However, when Prince Albert died during Queen Victoria’s reign, she stayed at Balmoral Castle for forty years of mourning.
CEREMONIES AND INTERMENT
Before his demise, Prince Philip reportedly requested a simple funeral with no fuss and wanted a military funeral as a Royal Navy veteran. As such, a ceremony will take place observing traditions.
It is expected that his funeral will take place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The duke will most likely be buried in Frogmore Gardens' mausoleum, alongside Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Frogmore Gardens is 35-acres of land in Windsor Castle, off-limits to the public and a place where the Queen reportedly walks her dogs. However, other past British monarchs were buried in Westminster Abbey and St. George’s Chapel.
Prince Philip during his visit to Richmond Adult Community College in Richmond on June 8, 2015 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
PRINCE PHILIP’S DEATH
The royal palace released a statement through Twitter earlier, revealing the news. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband,” it read.
Several people have since paid their tributes to the late prince through social media, including television personality Piers Morgan, who posted a photo of the Queen and her late husband on Instagram.
“RIP Prince Philip, 99. A truly great Briton who dedicated his life to selfless public duty & was an absolute rock of devoted support to her Majesty,” he wrote. The duke is the longest-reigning consort to the Queen.